Substitution Errors in the Production of Word-Initial and Word-Final Consonant Clusters Purpose This study provides a comprehensive examination of substitutions that occur at Greenlee’s 3rd stage of cluster development (M. Greenlee, 1974). At this stage of cluster acquisition, children are able to produce the correct number of consonants but with 1 or more of these consonants being substituted for another. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2008
Substitution Errors in the Production of Word-Initial and Word-Final Consonant Clusters
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cecilia Kirk
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Contact author: Cecilia Kirk, Department of Communication Disorders, College of Science, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8020, New Zealand. E-mail: cecilia.kirk@canterbury.ac.nz.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2008
Substitution Errors in the Production of Word-Initial and Word-Final Consonant Clusters
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2008, Vol. 51, 35-48. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/003)
History: Received April 17, 2006 , Revised January 15, 2007 , Accepted May 30, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2008, Vol. 51, 35-48. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/003)
History: Received April 17, 2006; Revised January 15, 2007; Accepted May 30, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

Purpose This study provides a comprehensive examination of substitutions that occur at Greenlee’s 3rd stage of cluster development (M. Greenlee, 1974). At this stage of cluster acquisition, children are able to produce the correct number of consonants but with 1 or more of these consonants being substituted for another.

Method Participants were 11 typically developing children ages 1;5–2;7 (years;months) who were from monolingual English-speaking homes. Consonant clusters in both word-initial and word-final position were elicited using a picture identification task.

Results Although previous studies have suggested that most cluster substitutions can be predicted from the errors children make on the corresponding singletons, our findings indicate that almost one third of substitutions in clusters are not predictable in this way. Furthermore, the majority of unpredictable substitutions produced by the children in this study resulted in clusters in which both consonants in the cluster shared the same place and/or manner of articulation. Thus, almost 70% of unpredictable substitutions appear to be motivated by assimilation within the cluster.

Conclusion Ease of articulation provides the most convincing explanation for within-cluster assimilation.

Acknowledgments
Research and manuscript preparation were supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology awarded to Cecilia Kirk, as well as by National Institutes of Health Grant R01MH60922 awarded to Katherine Demuth, Brown University, Providence, RI. Many thanks to Manuela Barcelos, Jessica Goldberg, and Patrick Tonks for help with running the experiment and transcribing the data. Thanks to Jessica Stites for help with data analysis. Thanks also to Carol Stoel-Gammon, Gail Gillon, and Katherine Demuth for helpful comments. Finally, we thank the parents and children who participated in the research.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access